Kessen III PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Koei
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. The battles require some thought and are a blast to execute, but can often still be completed in ten minutes or so—depending on the battle.
  2. The good mix of action, planning and jaw dropping visuals in Kessen 3 will please the majority of gamers out there. [JPN Import]
  3. There's so much potential for strategy here that it's almost overwhelming. [PSM2]
  4. 80
    The strategy and the action mix well together and manage to make a cohesive whole. That's not easy to do and for that Kessen III is very successful.
  5. Delivers a good balance of tactical decision making and up-close action that will be most appealing to existing fans of Koei's other beat-'em-up works, but it's simple recipe for mass warfare can create an armchair general out of anyone.
  6. The heart of Kessen 3 lies in repetition; in mission layouts, in the simple combo execution, and in the cutscenes and music.
  7. AceGamez
    A great title and there's nothing else quite like it. The only thing that comes close is "Kingdom Under Fire" for the Xbox.
  8. Edge Magazine
    Fortunately, the backbone of strategy means that behind every chaotic disaster lies the digestible conclusion that, with better planning, it could have been avoided. [May 2005, p.87]
  9. games(TM)
    Kessen III manages to prove that strategy and fun aren’t mutually exclusive in the war sim genre. The series still needs to find the right balance between depth and instant fun, but this is proof that Koei is getting closer to the elusive formula with each sequel. [May 2005, p.106]
  10. Strategy buffs out there will not find much to Kessen III as the strategy in the game is quite limited.
  11. The only problem with this game is that the AI is not the smartest.
  12. PSM Magazine
    Is this thing as addictive as crack-laced Jelly Bellies, or what? The difficulty ramps up almost perfectly, delivering contstant new challenges. [Apr 2005, p.74]
  13. 80
    The game’s graphics are far from amazing – facial detail aside, of course – but overall Kessen III is an innovative and highly-enjoyable title, delivering a fresh and even blend of action and strategy with menus and statistic systems that are easy to learn and to get into and far from convoluted.
  14. 80
    An incredible experience that all strategy fans shouldn’t pass the opportunity to experience.
  15. Game Informer
    This series is close to breaking through, it only needs to tighten up and refine its core elements (as well as expand its linear strucure) to stand out. [March 2005, p.130]
  16. If you've always craved for a bit more strategy in your Dynasty Warriors game, Kessen III may fit the bill.
  17. With decent gameplay and a retail price of about 19.99, Kessen III is a bargain for people who are looking for a way to spend several hours per day on an engaging historical melodrama.
  18. Bravely straddles the border between action and strategy, but it needs to take a step deeper into both territories.
  19. netjak
    Repetition, bad AI, and bad localization absolutely kill this game.
  20. 80
    Even while having more twitch-combat, the strategic aspect has not been compromised, making the game approachable for both hardcore and casual audiences.
  21. Computer Games Magazine
    What's truly satisfying is these games make history entertaining. [June 2005, p.90]
  22. Major change comes on the battlefield. With the introduction of game mechanics from Dynasty Warriors, players can now directly control troop manoeuvres.
  23. Pelaaja (Finland)
    Kessen III contains more action than the previous two games in the series combined. Unfortunately, this mostly means constantly having to mash the square-button without much thought put into action. Strategic and tactical elements are still there, but they suffer too much from the more action-oriented game play. [June 2005, p.58]
  24. 60
    This ain’t the console equivalent of "Rome: Total War." Action fans might furrow their brows over the slow pacing, and the camera is stubborn, requiring you to manually adjust it to see your surroundings while moving around the enemy.
  25. The manual camera constantly begs for your attention, never where you want it to be. Probably great fun for "Dynasty Warriors" fans.
  26. Lots of options and simple control makes Kessen III about as accessible as war strategizing can get. Unfortunately, the action is pretty repetitive and the button mashing grows tedious, leading to only a two-star general.

Awards & Rankings

#56 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 13, 2014
    Koei have a tendancy to bring out some rather impressive games and Kessen III is one of them, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game and haveKoei have a tendancy to bring out some rather impressive games and Kessen III is one of them, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game and have done a number of times trying out different generals and combinations as well as replaying to find the generals who you need to go out of your way to find and recruit to your cause.

    The game has an actiony-rts kind of feel to it forsaking the usual aerial view and mouse controls for more action orientated commands made for a controller. With the ability to control your units and attach support units such as stone-throwers and archers to co-ordinate attacks with.

    It lacks the military strategy depth of games like Total War but in that it makes the game very accessible.

    The plot is an interesting adaptation of the tale of Nobunaga Oda, refreshingly painting him as a heroic character as opposed to the Demon King most fan are used to. The story follows his rise in an attempt to unify Japan along with his good friends and generals. The game includes notable battles for the Sengoku Era which you must overcome to advance in the story.

    A wealth of interesting characters both allied and enemies make scenes and encounters varied, the gameplay at times can feel a bit repetitive but the experience and variety of landscapes and findable items/treasures can make up for that.

    A very good game from Koei and in my opinion it is probably the best entry in the Kessen series for the experience and atmosphere alone.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2014
    Kessen III is a must buy for every RTS fan.

    Pros: Interesting story set in Feudal Japan based on historical facts with a couple of twists.
    Kessen III is a must buy for every RTS fan.

    Interesting story set in Feudal Japan based on historical facts with a couple of twists.
    Wide variety of entertaining and memorable characters.
    Fun and solid gameplay. Combat is engaging and the difficulty ramps up perfectly as you progress.
    Lots of character customization.
    New game + that's actually worth playing.
    Solid graphics.
    Great soundtrack and voice acting.
    Provides actual historical information about pretty much everyone you see on screen.

    Combat might get repetitive after awhile. This due to the more action oriented approach in comparison to the previous, more tactical Kessen games.
    Optional recruitable officers tend to look similar to each other.
    Full Review »
  3. Flamers1500
    Nov 18, 2005
    A brilliant game the best in its class.